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Facebook is building Tools to Power the Future of Work

Facebook press release:

The shift to remote work just accelerated. New technology is helping us all stay connected and productive whether we’re executives or the frontline workers, like retail workers and airport staff, who make up 80% of the world’s working population.

Platforms and devices like Workplace, Portal and Oculus were built for a time when economic opportunity might no longer depend on geography, a time when what you do could matter more than where you are.

Facebook is shifting to remote work – many people can now choose where they do their best work – while we continue to lay the technical foundation for a more flexible, and fair, future of work for all.

Workplace, which enables flexible work while connecting everyone at an organization, already has 5 million paid users – up 2 million since October. And Work Groups, a type of Facebook Group that helps people connect with their coworkers, has over 20 million monthly active users after just six months.

Facebook is introducing new video features in Workplace to make communication even easier. We’re also adding features to Workplace on Portal, and widely releasing Oculus for Business to meet early demand for VR-powered training and collaboration.

Workplace Rooms is a secure and easy way for coworkers to get things done and stay connected when they can’t be together in person. It’s a meeting space with unlimited time, where you can invite up to 50 people to a video call even if they’re not in your company or don’t have a Workplace account. Whether you’re holding team meetings, hosting a virtual happy hour, or just jumping on quick one-on-one calls, you can easily create video call links from Workplace Chat, Groups, News Feed or Portal, then share them in a chat, post, email or text message. Screen sharing makes it easy to collaborate with your team in real time.

When you create a room, you can lock it to prevent others from joining, keep it open for more spontaneous hangouts, or remove participants who shouldn’t be on the call. For security, a new link is generated every time you create a room, and links cannot be used again once they have expired.

Live Producer is a new way to go live on Workplace from your desktop with better production value, control and interactivity. Now you’ll be able to schedule live videos, share your screen and use the live Q&A feature to let people ask and vote on questions. You can turn on automatic captions for live videos in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Workplace will also automatically translate videos in one of these languages into the other five, so employees around the world can follow along. You’ll also have the option to edit the captions when you’re done in case you want to make updates before the video becomes available on-demand.

In the year since we launched Oculus Quest, demand for VR has grown, not just for entertainment, but also immersive professional training and virtual meetings. Salespeople at Nestle Purina are using VR to visualize retail displays and gather sales teams while reducing travel. Johnson & Johnson Institute is training surgeons with Oculus and helping improve patient outcomes. Employees at Hilton are using interactive simulations to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities of hotel operations. Now, we’re making it easier for more companies to use the power of VR to improve business results. The Oculus for Business platform, which provides software to set up and manage VR deployments, a tailored in-headset experience and enterprise-grade customer support, is now generally available. Oculus for Business is built on Workplace, leveraging its security infrastructure and privacy practices. Learn more on the Oculus blog.


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